5 Tips to Help Prevent Peripheral Arterial Disease

Peripheral arterial disease affects millions of people around the world. This condition, which affects blood flow in the arte

You’ve probably heard of coronary artery disease, a common condition that develops when the arteries supplying blood to your heart grow narrow or become blocked. But, did you know you can have this issue in your peripheral arteries as well? This condition, known as peripheral artery disease (PAD) or peripheral vascular disease (PVD), affects the arteries carrying blood to your legs, arms, stomach, and head. 

While PAD can impact any of your peripheral arteries, it occurs most often in the legs. Common symptoms of PAD include:

You can also have PAD without having any symptoms. 

At Frontier Medical Care in the Bay Ridge neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York, Farouk Marzouk, MD, specializes in treating vascular problems, including peripheral arterial disease. Dr. Marzouk recommends taking the following steps to avoid developing this common vascular problem.

1. Know your risks

It's easy to brush off leg pain or other symptoms as a normal part of aging. But certain factors can put you at a higher risk for developing PAD, including:

Your chances of developing PAD are also higher if you smoke, are obese, or have diabetes or heart disease.

2. Watch your cholesterol and blood pressure

High cholesterol and high blood pressure can affect your blood vessels, which can interfere with the blood flow to your limbs. 

When your blood can't flow properly, it can increase your risk of developing health complications, such as heart attacks and strokes. If you have blocked arteries in your legs, it can also put you at risk of developing open sores on your legs, feet, or toes, which can lead to amputation.

3. Eat a healthy diet

One of the primary causes of peripheral artery disease is plaque buildup in your arteries. This can develop by making poor dietary choices. To keep your vascular system in peak condition, you should follow a heart-healthy diet that's low in saturated fat. Not only will this help you keep your weight in check, but it will also help you control your cholesterol levels and blood pressure.

4. Get regular exercise 

It can be hard to get moving, especially if you’re out of shape, significantly overweight, or in pain. But, engaging in regular physical activity is crucial to maintaining your vascular health. It will also help keep your muscles in good condition so they can process oxygen more efficiently. Dr. Marzouk usually recommends 30-45 minutes of exercise several times each week, but he can make personalized suggestions based on your individual needs and overall health.

5. Quit smoking

Smoking is a major risk factor for developing several health conditions, including PAD. Not only does smoking increase your chances of developing PAD, but it can also impact the effectiveness of treatment and worsen the condition.

To learn more about peripheral arterial disease and what you can do to prevent or treat it, book an appointment online or over the phone with Frontier Medical Care today.

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